Anonymous
Hi,

About 4 weeks ago I had unprotected oral sex with a person whose hiv status I don't know, exactly one week after possible exposure I got flu, strong productive cough, mild fever, problems breathing - shortness of breath (my doctor said that this is because of my asthma). doctor gave me antibiotic which didn't help at all, and for 3 weeks already I have runny nose, peristant cough, last week I felt fatigue. It seems though I'm getting better, and my doctor said it is probably common cold virus, but I worry because it lasts for quite a time. I was checking symptoms online and I don't have swollen lymph nodes, and also no rash.
As I have mentioned one week before the flu-like symptoms appeared I had unprotected oral sex, with some deep kissing involved also. I gave oral sex to partner and he also gave one to me. No ejacualtion happened in mouth though, but I worry about possible pre-cum maybe. The thing is that I usually have bleeding gums while brushing teeth, and that's why I worry the most. I brushed my teeth at least couple hours before contact last time. There was also some alcohol in my bloodstream.

Considering that this happened just 4 weeks ago I think it might be too early to get tested, I don't know what generation tests they use in my country (I live in Poland)

Should I really worry about the hiv possibility, and do these symptoms look like hiv? What do you think about testing during this week (it would be 4 and half weeks after possible exposure).

Thank you so much for your answer, I appreciate it very much.
Kind regards,
L.
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Anonymous
Hello,

Thank you for contacting AIDS Vancouver. I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling unwell. I will go over the transmission risk level for your encounter and give you some information about symptoms and testing to answer your questions.

First, at AIDS Vancouver we use situations to determine your risk level rather than your partner's status, so it does not matter that you do not know their status. You mentioned receiving and giving oral sex as well as kissing. Receiving oral sex is a negligible risk activity which means that although transmission is theoretically possible there has never been a reported case. Giving oral sex is a low risk activity. Kissing is a no risk activity.

In regards to your gums that bleed, it is only significant bleeding, such as the kind associated with gum disease that will increase your risk of transmission. If this is a concern for you, some experts say that waiting fifteen minutes after brushing your teeth before engaging in oral sex will be enough to return risk levels to a normal level if someone was otherwise at an elevated risk level. If you have had problems with bleeding gums during brushing for a prolonged period of time you may want to visit your dentist to determine whether there is something that needs their attention.

You have described a variety of symptoms, I would recommend continued follow-up with your doctor if you do not feel better in another week or so. At AIDS Vancouver we do not use symptoms to diagnose HIV. This is because many symptoms are not specific to HIV and many people living with HIV display no symptoms. I notice you have been doing some online reading about symptoms. Educating yourself is a great idea but not all online sources are credible. Feel free to use our website, and here is another [website](http://www.catie.ca/en/basics/hiv-and-aids) with detailed information if you would like to do more reading.

You've also asked about testing. So your highest risk level based on what you have described is low risk. This means you do not necessarily need to be tested, although we do recommend regular testing for sexually active individuals. For testing periods you could certainly get a test at 4 weeks after your last exposure. Both the 3rd generation ELISA test and the 4th generation combination test can be taken after 4 weeks, and can detect up to 95% of cases of new infections at 4-6 weeks. Both these tests are conclusive after 12 weeks. These are probably the two most common tests, and one of the ones you are likely to encounter in Poland.

So in summary, your risk level is low. I hope that your health improves, you do not need to be worried about your risk level, but if you are still concerned you can go for an HIV test at this time.

Best regards,

Alex

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

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